Seoul's plan to settle wartime labor row with Japan gets mixed reactions

Seoul's recently announced solution to a wartime labor compensation dispute with Japan has drawn mixed reactions from people in South Korea.

The ruling People Power Party said the measure announced by the government of President Yoon Suk-yeol on Monday is a courageous first step toward resolving the issue.

The plan is to have a South Korean government-affiliated foundation pay damages in place of Japanese firms to people who say they or their family members were forced to work for the companies during World War Two. The companies were ordered by South Korea's top court in 2018 to pay compensation to the plaintiffs.

Some family members also reacted positively to the plan, saying they want the issue to be quickly settled in whatever way possible.

However, one of the plaintiffs rejected the government's plan and pledged not to receive any money from the proposed foundation. Activists supporting the plaintiffs rejecting the plan held a rally in central Seoul, calling on the government to ditch the latest plan.

South Korean media say President Yoon is expected to visit Japan this month for talks with Prime Minister Kishida Fumio. Yoon is also reportedly planning to attend the upcoming G7 Hiroshima summit as an observer in May, following a trip to the United States in April.